Healthcare data breach threatens House members, leaders say


March 9 (UPI) — House leadership told Congress members and staff on Wednesday their personal data may have been exposed after the healthcare group DC Health Link was breached by a cyberattack.

While House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., did not mention what members were affected, they said the victims could also include spouses and other family members. The breach is being investigated by the FBI and the Capitol Police.

“Right now, our top priority is protecting the safety and security of anyone in the Capitol Hill community affected by the cyber hack,” McCarthy and Jeffries said in a joint statement, according to Politico.

DC Health Link confirmed that “data for some DC Health Link customers has been exposed on a public forum” and said it is notifying impacted customers and will provide credit monitoring services for all customers regardless of whether their information was compromised or not.

“We are taking action to ensure the security and privacy of our users’ personal information,” a spokesperson told Politico.

House Chief Administrative Officer Catherine Szpindor called the data breach “significant” and said “thousands” could be affected.

“We can confirm reports that data for some DC HealthLink customers have been exposed on a public forum,” Szpindor said, according to CBS News. “We have initiated a comprehensive investigation and are working with forensic investigators and law enforcement.”

In a separate letter from McCarthy and Jeffries to Mila Kofman, the executive director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, said the breach opened up House members to all sorts of crimes.

“This breach significantly increases the risk that members, staff, and their families will experience identity theft, financial crimes, and physical threats — already an ongoing concern,” the letter said.

They then asked what services will be offered to members and other affective and a plan moving forward.

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